Sir Alex Ferguson retires as manager of Man United

Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson is retiring as manager of Manchester United. Photo: PA

Sir Alex Ferguson, one of the most successful football managers of all time, announced his retirement today.

Sir Alex, 71, who has managed Manchester United for 26 years, said: "The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly.

"It is the right time," he said.

Sir Alex led the club to 13 league titles in 26 years as well as numerous other triumphs, making him the most successful manager in English football history.

But he is not leaving the club altogether when he bows out after the West Bromwich Albion game on May 19 as he will join the football club board and become an ambassador.

Sir Alex said: "It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so.

"The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.

"Our training facilities are amongst the finest in global sport and our home Old Trafford is rightfully regarded as one of the leading venues in the world.

"Going forward, I am delighted to take on the roles of both director and ambassador for the club.

"With these activities, along with my many other interests, I am looking forward to the future.

"I must pay tribute to my family, their love and support has been essential. My wife Cathy has been the key figure throughout my career."

There was no immediate announcement about his replacement but among those in the betting are former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and Everton's David Moyes.